Thursday, April 15, 2010
I'm embarking on a journey to Israel
|As I celebrated Easter with my family and friends, I started gearing up for my first trip to the Holy Land. It is hard to anticipate what is in store for me, but the prospect of walking through the Old City and experiencing the Via Dolorosa is a pilgrimage that I have long awaited.
Growing up, my mother shared biblical stories that have often served as a compass in my own life. All that I have learned about Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, as well as the wonder and majesty of the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane will come alive when I get to experience them firsthand. Witnessing these biblical sights where ordinary people were changed and completely transformed by faith is something I can only imagine. I have seen pictures of the Wailing Wall but look forward to creating real-life snapshots of this fortress of prayer made from Solomon’s original temple, which is regarded as the holiest Jewish site. I look forward to catching a glimpse of the Dome of the Rock that has become a landmark in Jerusalem located on the Temple Mount. It is recognized as the third holiest site in Islam.
Walking through the room where the Last Supper supposedly took place will allow me to commemorate the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples, a significant place for Christians. It is hard to believe the spiritual symbolism of the three religions of the world, are located in a four-mile radius.
Traveling to Israel with Mariners Church will enable me to step into the shoes of those who helped shape and transform the world thousands of years ago. The leader of our group, Kenton Beshore, has been to the Holy Land numerous times and wants to focus on real experiences and rare scenes from biblical times, rather than the commercial sights. As I travel to Israel, I am reminded of stories from my childhood and look forward to the journey ahead, which will stay with me for a lifetime.